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All about TOEFL


Applying for post-graduation in an English speaking country? You need to demonstrate your knowledge and communication skills in English. Writing a TOEFL test is the first step for your application process. Hereunder, we have tried to provide you with the required information and guidance that may help you with this step.

What is TOEFL?

TOEFL is Test of English as a Foreign Language, designed and administered by ETS (Educational Testing Services), the American testing agency at Princeton University. Universities/colleges abroad use this test to analyze your ability to use and understand English as most of them have English as the mode of instruction.

Who takes TOEFL and Why?

The students aspiring to pursue their higher education abroad give this test. Universities/colleges use this test as a criterion to judge the ability of students to combine reading, listening, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tasks. It is advised to check the individual university requirements for the TOEFL score before applying.

TOEFL is also given by the students for application to certain scholarships and certifications. A few countries require TOEFL scores for the application of a work visa.

Types of TOEFL

There are two types of TOEFL -

  1. TOEFL iBT  (Internet-Based Test)
  2. Revised TOEFL Paper-delivered Test

98% of the TOEFL test takers prefer TOEFL iBT and the revised TOEFL paper-delivered test is taken only in the areas where there is no internet facility. India doesn’t conduct the paper-based test now.

Exam fee

TOEFL iBT Fee -  $180 USD (~ INR 12, 811/-)

Test Duration

The duration of the test is 3 hours (180 minutes). There are a total of 4 sections and you will be given a break of 10 minutes after the second section.

TOEFL Validity

TOEFL iBT scores are valid for a period of two years from the date of disclosure of the results. For example, if you get your result on 23rd November 2019, it will be valid till 22nd November 2021.

TOEFL iBT Exam Pattern

Test SectionNumber of QuestionsTasksAllotted Time
Reading3–4 reading passages,10 questions each You need to read the passages and answer the questions54–72 minutes
Listening3–4 lectures, 6 questions each 2–3 conversations, 5 questions each You need to answer the questions based on the lectures, classroom discussions conversations41–57 minutes
Speaking4 tasks1 independent3 integrated You need to express your opinion on the given topic, speak based on the reading and listening tasks17 minutes
Writing2 tasksYou need to write an essay based on the writing and listening tasks, supporting it along with your opinion50 minutes

Eligibility Criteria for TOEFL iBT

ETS has not prescribed any eligibility criteria for the TOEFL exam. Students aspiring for higher education abroad with high school or equivalent qualification can appear for this test.

TOEFL iBT Scores

There is no cut-off for TOEFL iBT scores as such but individual universities have their own requirements.  In order to receive an official score, you need to attempt at least 1 question each, in reading and listening sections and write at least 1 essay and complete 1 speaking task.

SkillScore Range*Level*
Reading0-30Advanced (24-30)High-Intermediate (18–23)Low-Intermediate (4–17)Below Low- Intermediate (0–3)
Listening0-30Advanced (22-30)High-Intermediate (17–21)Low-Intermediate (9–16)Below Low- Intermediate (0–8)
Speaking0-30(0-4 points conversionAdvanced (25-30)High-Intermediate (20–24)Low-Intermediate (16–19)Basic (10–15)Below Basic (0–9)
Writing0-30 0-5 points conversion)Advanced (24–30)High-Intermediate (17–23)Low-Intermediate (13–16)Basic (7–12)Below Basic (0–6)
Total Score0-120 

*Source - ETS

The total score of the TOEFL iBT exam ranges between 0- 120 with a score of 0-30 in each of the four sections. Each skill has 4-5 proficiency levels.

Reading and listening are scored by a computer while speaking and listening are scored by AI and human interface.

Additional service charges are applied if you need to send a report or review your scores in a particular section

  • If you wish to send your score report to an institution or agency, there will be extra charges of $20 USD (~ INR 1426)
  • Reviewing the Speaking or Writing Section costs $80 USD (~ INR 5700)
  • Reviewing the Speaking and Writing Section together costs $160 USD (~ INR 11,400)

Test Results and Score Report

The test scores are posted online on the official website approximately 6 days after the test date. You can download the PDF version of the score report within 8 days after your test. Score reports are also mailed to you (if you requested a paper copy) and sent to your selected institutions or agencies within 11 days after the test date.

The official score report displayed in the ETS website will include:

  • Name
  • Email ID
  • Gender
  • Date of Birth
  • Test Date
  • Address
  • Your Country of Birth and Native Language
  • Test  Center Code and Country
  • Test Scores
  • Your cumulative scores from the last 2 years in the form of My BestTM Scores

Official Score Report that you want to send to universities contains all of the above along with

  • Institution Code
  • Department Code
  • Department Name


Exam Syllabus

The TOEFL exam mainly focuses on evaluating the students based on the reading, listening, speaking and writing skills and to check their hold on the English language.


This is the first section of the TOEFL iBT. You are given 3-4 comprehensions and passages of about 700 words followed by 10 questions each, adding up to about 40 questions. Comprehensions are based on a variety of academic topics on arts, history, psychology, science, etc. A time of  54-72 minutes is allotted for this section. Your score will be based on the number of correct answers to the questions. Please keep in mind that the individual questions are not timed and you need to manage the time wisely. Sometimes, unscored experimental questions are also added to the reading section by ETS which may vary the length of the section.


Length of the listening section also varies leading to a variable time of 41-57 minutes. Listening section includes 4-6 questions which are meant to judge your English- listening skills. The listening section can also include visuals and/or text, voices of multiple people with different accents.  The 5-6 questions that follow the audio clip are based on the lectures or conversations which need to be answered correctly. Please note that you will get to hear the audio clip just once and need to hear them with focus. Make notes while you hear the clips and read all the questions carefully before answering.


This is the shortest section of the TOEFL iBT exam and finishes off in 17 minutes. This section consists of 4 tasks, 1 independent and 3 integrated. The independent task requires you to speak on a familiar topic and the integrated task requires you to speak about the passages and audio clips which is linked to the reading and listening sections. You need to be very quick and clear in your speaking section.


The writing section involves 2 tasks, 1 independent and one integrated. In the independent task, you need to write an essay on the topic given while in the integrated task, you will get to hear a voice clip along with a passage on your screen. So you need to coordinate all three of the reading, listening and writing skills to write an essay combined with your views on the topic. This section lasts for about 50 minutes.

How to Register for the TOEFL iBT Test?

You can register for the TOEFL iBT Test by three methods:-

Register Online

You can register for the TOEFL iBT exam online 24*7. You need to log in with your ETS account on the official website or app and choose your desired centre and available date to register for the test. You need to choose a valid ID while registering which needs to be shown at the time of the entrance on the test day. You can pay by using a credit/debit card or by Paypal. Online registration closes 7 days before the selected test date.

Register by Phone

You can register via phone by calling the Regional Registration Center (RRC) (Phone Number: 91-124-4147700) at least seven working days prior to your preferred test date. You need to provide them with your details and preferred test date. They will provide you with a confirmation number, test date and exam centre on the same call. You can make the payment via Debit/Credit cards.

Register by Mail

To register by mail, you need to download the form, complete it and mail it to the address mentioned in the form along with the payment. You can make the payment via credit/debit card, money order or certified bank check. Kindly make sure to send the form at least four weeks prior to your test date. You will receive a confirmation number, test date, and centre via postal mail, email or fax. In case you do not receive a confirmation, you can call the office where you mailed your form, and confirm 3 business days before the registration deadline. If you are applying from India, then the mailing address is

Prometric Testing Private Limited

2nd Floor, DLF Infinity Tower A, Sector-25, Phase-II, DLF City, Gurgaon 122002, Haryana, India

Note-  In case you fail to register on time, you can pay a late fee of $40 USD (~ INR 2851) and register 2 days before the test date. Also, note that walk-in registrations at test centres are not allowed.

TOEFL Centers in India

There are a total of  39 TOEFL iBT test centres in India.

TOEFL iBT Test Dates

You can give TOEFL iBT exam at any time of the year as per the availability of the test dates. There is no bar to the number of times you can appear for the test. But, you can not choose two dates within a gap of 3 days. Also, make you sure that you have enough time (at least 21 days) for university application as test results are mailed within 11 days after the declaration of the result.

Rescheduling the TOEFL Test Registration

  • If by any chance you need to re-schedule your test, you can do that 4 days before the test date. For example, if your test is on Saturday, you can re-schedule it on or before Tuesday.
  • The rescheduling charges are $60 USD (~ INR 4277)
  • You can reschedule the test by logging into your account on the ETS official website, official app or through the phone by calling RRC.
  • Please note that you can not reschedule via mail, email or at the test centre.

Change of Test Centre

There is no option to change the test centre for the TOEFL iBT exam. You can opt for rescheduling the exam.

Cancelling the Test Registration and Refund Policy

  • In case, you are not able to give the test on the chosen date and wish to cancel it, you can do that 4 days before the test date. No refunds will be given after that.
  • You will get a refund of 50% of the amount (in USD) that you paid for the registration.
  • Cash refunds are not available.
  • If you have done the payment via Credit/Debit card,  the refund will be credited to the original account.
  • If you paid by cheque, it will reach you in about 12 weeks.

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